Noun: A state of armed conflict between different nations or states or different groups within a nation or state. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
For reasons no one will care to explain because it’s barely worth thinking about, war has become a remarkable theme on television. Everything is now an armed conflict. And while it’s almost plausible to liken a physical confrontation like boxing to war, or a simple sporting match that pits two teams against each other, television producers have opted to make every idiotic metaphorical competition or confrontation a war. Not sure what we mean? Take a look!
TLC presents to you the most stunning concept for a show ever that is, oddly, captivating. It’s a handful of people who make a living buying shit that murder victims and incarcerated prostitutes have left in storage lockers and then reselling it for insane profits. In one episode a dude spent $750 on a locker and managed to pull in $90,000 worth of old newspapers (which everyone on the internet agrees is bullshit, but still, it sounds like a lot of money in theory). Another cast member has managed to find paintings by Pablo Picasso and a handwritten letter from Abe Lincoln.
Despite the Antiques Roadshow-level thrills of watching someone discover something worth a lot of money, basically the show is about an eccentric old man, a shrewish couple, an asshole and a tubby white trash dude and their willingness to spend money on surprise bags. If that’s a war then the folks over in Afghanistan and Iraq right now can rest easy as the worst they have to look forward to is not roadside bombings so much as Taliban-led harassment bidding and the odd case of spending too much money on a locker full of used up porn.
Dinner Party Wars
Making a mockery of the serious and deadly situations present in Storage Wars, Dinner Party Wars shames all of mankind by presenting this scenario – you are to put on a dinner party and if it is better than the dinner party two other couples put on, you will win pots and pans. Welcome to Thunderdome!
How does one go to war at a dinner party? By politely enjoying someone else’s hors d’oeuvres and then going on confessional cam to express how utterly disgusted you were with their pathetic excuse for tabouli. You call this tabouli? How about balls? How about you call it balls? How’s that for an opening salvo?
A professional sandwich artist and a British school marm will then judge your food and décor and decide if you, at the end of the day, merit the honor of getting $300 worth of pots and pans.
Coming closest to an actual war scenario of all the shows listed, the basic premise of Whale Wars is that hippies love whales but hate the Japanese and Norwegians and whoever else might be out there whaling, so they sort of attack them in boats. Or just harass them. It’s not real attacking, that would be illegal, but they do make themselves really annoying but getting between the whaling ships and actual whales and occasionally tossing out stink bombs. And maybe a few times they rammed boats, but no one died or anything. It’s basically giant, aquatic mammal cock-blocking.
From a moral stand point, we agree with the sea faring hippies and support their anti-whaling agenda. But from a comedy standpoint it’s really just so easy to make fun of vegans on the high seas being attacked by water cannons from a Japanese whaling fleet.
Border Wars, brought to us by the good xenophobes at the national Geographic Channel of all places, seeks to help you dive into the world of border security and, in general, keeping Mexicans away from the rest of us. That really trivializes what is a serious issue, borders do need to be protected and all that jazz, and these guys have actually stopped a ton of drugs from coming into the country amongst other things but seriously, was this show made for any other reason than to appeal to people in Arizona who narrow their eyes every time they drive past a Taco Bell?
If you’ve ever had your car impounded you might want to smack someone, but smack wars are probably the least effective kind of wars there are and thus really makes poor fodder for television. Nonetheless, Parking Wars is a show that switches between two aspects of Philadelphia Parking Authority – the ticketing agents who ruin your day on the street and the actual impound yard where they take your car after you neglect to pay parking tickets for a few months. There’s nothing really warlike about any of this but it’s interesting to note that if there is a point in the show it’s hard to figure out as half the time the show makes negligent drivers look like idiots but the other half of the time it makes the PPA look like idiots.
The Food Network has no shame and also no idea how to fill 24 hours of programming seven days a week – it’s pretty much impossible to do that with all food-related content. The result of the panic shits that the executives at this network must regularly take is stuff like Cupcake Wars. Can you guess what the show is about? It’s about baking cupcakes. In a war-like setting (which is to say just a competition). So 4 cupcake bakers (a cupcake baker is a real thing, you just learned something) must make ridiculous cupcakes involving ingredients like salmon or indifference, and then be judged across several rounds of the audience wondering how the hell this is really a show.
In the end, one baker reigns supreme and gets to cater some kind of non-event with their cupcakes, confident the exposure will rocket them to cupcake fame and glory, all the while oblivious to the fact that only toddlers and people in helmets honestly care about cupcakes and the rest of us will eat tem if they’re there in much the same way we’d wear velvet pants if nothing else was available.